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‘Irregular War: ISIS and the New Threat from the Margins’ with Paul Rogers 
Wednesday 5th October, 7pm

‘Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressive State’ with Martin Plaut
Wednesday 12th October, 7pm

‘Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain’ with Kate Harrad
Wednesday 19th October, 7pm

‘Kaleidoscope’ with Laura Taylor. Supported by Joy France
Saturday 22nd October, 6.30pm

‘The Bonnot Gang: The Story of the French Illegalists’ with Richard Parry
Friday 28th October, 7pm

‘China and the New Maoists’ with Kerry Brown
Wednesday 2nd November, 7pm

‘No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance’ with Natasha King
Wednesday 9th November, 7pm

‘The Refusal of Work: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work’ with David Frayne
Wednesday 16th November, 7pm

‘Angry White People: Coming Face-to-Face with the British Far Right’ with Hsiao-Hung Pai 
Wednesday 30th November, 7pm

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We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.



‘Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressive State’

with Martin Plaut
Wednesday 12th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

The most secretive, repressive state in Africa is haemorrhaging its citizens. In some months as many Eritreans as Syrians arrive on European shores, yet the country is not convulsed by civil war. Young men and women risk all to escape. Many do not survive — their bones littering the Sahara; their bodies floating in the Mediterranean.


Still they flee, to avoid permanent military service and a future without hope. As the United Nations reported: ‘Thousands of conscripts are subjected to forced labour that effectively abuses, exploits and enslaves them for years.’


Eritreans fought for their freedom from Ethiopia for thirty years, only to have their revered leader turn on his own people. Independent since 1993, the country has no constitution and no parliament. No budget has ever been published. Elections have never been held and opponents languish in jail. International organisations find it next to impossible to work in the country.


Nor is it just a domestic issue. By supporting armed insurrection in neighbouring states it has destabilised the Horn of Africa. Eritrea is involved in the Yemeni civil war, while the regime backs rebel movements in Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti.


This book tells the untold story of how this tiny nation became a world pariah.

About the Author

Martin Plaut, the BBC World Service’s former Africa Editor, has published extensively on African affairs. An adviser to the Foreign Office and the US State Department, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.


‘Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain’ with Kate Harrad
Wednesday 19th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is the first of its kind: a book written for and by bisexual people in the UK. This accessible collection of interviews, essays, poems and commentary explores topics such as definitions of bisexuality, intersections of bisexuality with other identities, stereotypes and biphobia, being bisexaul at work, teenage bisexuality and bisexuality through the years, the media’s approach to bisexual celebrities, and fictional bisexual characters.

Filled with raw, honest first-person accounts as well as thoughts from leading bisexual activists in the UK, this is the book you’ll buy for your friend who’s just come out to you as bi-curious, or for your parents who think your bisexuality is weird or a phase, or for yourself, because you know you’re bi but you don’t know where to go or what to do about it.


“There are so few books published where the lives of bisexual people are the starting point. But that’s not the only reason Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain is important. It’s an interesting and enjoyable book, featuring contributions from a wide range of people from across the British bi community. Addressing the needs and concerns of bi people, this is a must-read for anyone who is attracted to people of more than one gender, and for those who know and love us.”

—Sue George, author, Women and Bisexuality, blogger, Bisexuality and Beyond

“At last! British bisexuals come out of the closet with Purple Prose – answering pressing questions about identity, activism, prejudice, relationships and much more. With bisexuality becoming ever more visible in mainstream culture, this book is essential reading for bi people and would-be allies, within the LGBT community and beyond. You need a copy in your life.”

—Louise Carolin, Deputy editor, DIVA magazine 

About the Author

Kate Harrad is a published fiction and non-fiction writer. She co-edited The Ladies’ Loos: From Plumbing to Plucking, a Practical Guide for Girls (The Friday Project, 2006), and her novel All Lies and Jest was published by Ghostwoods Books in 2011. She has over a decade of experience working in business editorial/writing positions, and has written for the Guardian, the F-Word and the Huffington Post. She has also been a bi activist for several years, and has co-organized numerous UK bi events.

‘Kaleidoscope’ with Laura Taylor. Supported by Joy France
Saturday 22nd October, 6.30pm

Housmans is delighted to welcome Laura Taylor, who will be performing poetry from her debut collection Kaleidoscope, which deftly champions equality and challenges authority, exposing the hypocrisy, iniquity and 'politricks' of the powers that be. A fiery and astute collection, crafted with passion, tenderness and humour, from one of the UK's most incisive performers.

There will also be some open mic spaces available for members of the audience. If interested, please email Laura for a spot on
Reviews for Laura Taylor

“She takes the intensely personal and makes it universal. She takes the universal and makes it personal. She is riveting, inspiring, dead hard and incredibly soft at the same time. This is one of the best books of poetry I have ever read.” Attila the Stockbroker

“Laura Taylor is a one woman bundle of energy; gritty, mesmerising, a performance that grabs the attention of the audience to deliver a serious message with a typical Northern wit” by Dom Warwick, Rebellion Punk Festival

“Laura Taylor - The third and final scheduled punk poet of the weekend brought all the rage required to rouse the audience out of their 2-day hangovers. Her outlook on life, and in turn, the content of her poetry holds just the right balance of bile, humour, self-awareness, wit, misery and hope to bring together a really enjoyable set that had the audience cheering along her every word. 10/10” by Tim Loud, Strummercamp

Reviews for Joy France

“Witty and wise and with a natural talent for rhythm and rhyme, La France has that ‘je ne sais quoi’” Tony Wash aka Longfella

About the Poets

Laura Taylor has been obsessed with words and language since her early childhood. Laura believes in the power of poetry as a means by which silent voices speak and hidden ears listen. She is a regular performer at festivals, gigs and fundraisers and has been widely published in various anthologies.

Joy France is secondary school teacher from Warrington. Joy always harboured a love of poetry but after a fateful meeting with stand-up poet Louise Fazackerley, who gave her the encouragement she needed, Joy started to write her own poetry.

This is the first in a regular series of poetry and fiction events at Housmans, a series we’re calling Locomotrix – named in honour of the ground-breaking poet Amelia Rosselli.


‘The Bonnot Gang: The Story of the French Illegalists’ with Richard Parry
Friday 28th October, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

This is the story of the infamous Bonnot Gang: the most notorious French anarchists ever, and as bank expropriators the inventors of the motorized “getaway.” It is the story of how the anarchist taste for illegality developed into illegalism—the theory that theft is liberating in itself. And how a number of young anarchists met in Paris in the years before the First World War, determined to live their lives to the full, regardless of the consequences.


Paris in 1911 was a city of riots, strikes, and savage repression of the working class. A stronghold of foreign exiles and homegrown revolutionaries, it was also the base of l’anarchie, the outspoken individualist weekly. L’anarchie drew together people for whom crime and revolution went hand in hand. There was Victor Kibalchich (later known as Victor Serge), whose inflammatory articles would put him on trial with the rest.


Then there was the gang itself: Victor’s childhood friend Raymond-La-Science, the tuberculous André Soudy, the serious-minded René Valet, Simentoff the southerner, and lastly the prime motivators of the group—the remorseless Octave Garnier and the experienced Jules Bonnot. Their robberies, daring and violent, would give them a lasting notoriety in France. Their deaths, as spectacular as their lives, would make them a legend among revolutionaries the world over.


Extensively researched and fully illustrated with rare period photos, drawings, and maps, this updated edition is the best account of the Bonnot Gang to appear in any language.


“The first book on the subject in English, and one based on original research in the various libraries and collections in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. . . . Although the book is written as a history, the style is journalistic rather than stuffily academic, and paced so that the narrative gets progressively more exciting. All in all, this is that rare book indeed. It is a good read and action-packed; but also meticulously researched with an impressive attention to detail.”

—New Anarchist Review


“Although Parry does not try to romanticize the protagonists, the conclusion of the book does try to interpret their story as a political event arising out of the class struggle. . . . It will be widely read; it ought to be widely discussed.”

—Nicholas Walter in Freedom


“The book is original, almost naively frank, and instantly likeable. It requires no prior knowledge and although it describes itself as a ‘history,’ it often reads more like a novel. All told this is a great introduction to the subject and well worth the read.”

—Katy Armstrong-Myers in Socialist Lawyer


“Parry neither idealizes nor condemns the Bonnot Gang. Instead, he is trying to situate its activities in an ideological tradition and, at least as importantly, in the unforgiving class contradictions characterizing French society at the time.”

—Ulf Gyllenhak in Dagens Nyheter

About the Author

Richard Parry studied medieval and modern history at University College London and took a masters in European Social History at the London School of Economics. He subsequently became a leading human rights lawyer who specialised in defending protestors. He continues to live and practise criminal defence law in London, his native city.


The wonderful Zed Books will be taking over the events programme for November. Now in their 40th year, Zed publishes across a wide range of topics, and perhaps best known for publishing the work of marginalised individuals and groups, many of them originating in the Global South, as well as others from oppressed elements of ‘Western’ society. Zed is also a workers’ co-op – in fact it’s the world's largest English-language publishing collective.

And on top of that they’ve also got a brand new website!

‘China and the New Maoists’ with Kerry Brown
Wednesday 2nd November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Forty years after his death, Mao remains a totemic, if divisive, figure in contemporary China. Though he retains an immense symbolic importance within China’s national mythology, the rise of a capitalist economy has seen the ruling class become increasingly ambivalent towards him. And while he continues to be a highly visible and contentious presence in Chinese public life, Mao's enduring influence has been little understood in the West.

In China and the New Maoists, Kerry Brown and Simone van Nieuwenhuizen look at the increasingly vocal elements who claim to be the true ideological heirs to Mao, ranging from academics to cyberactivists, as well as at the state's efforts to draw on Mao’s image as a source of legitimacy. This is a fascinating portrait of a country undergoing dramatic upheavals while still struggling to come to terms with its past.

Reviews for

'The resurgence of neo-Maoism in China is by turns fascinating, puzzling, and disturbing. China and the New Maoists is a lucid and absorbing account of the Party’s fumbling attempts, in the authors’ words, to "extricate itself from the quagmire of neo-Maoism".'
Andrew G. Walder, author of China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

'An extraordinarily concise, informative and insightful account of the legacies of Mao Zedong for contemporary China. Brown and van Nieuwenhuizen have written an essential guide to one of the key political, cultural, social and economic conundrums of China today.'
Julia Lovell, author of The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China

'An engaging and revealing look at how the battles over Mao's legacy have shaped politics in China for the better part of a century – and could define its future.'
Philip Pan, author of Out of Mao's Shadow and Asia editor of The New York Times

About the Authors

Kerry Brown is the professor of Chinese studies and the director of the Lau China Institute,at King’s College, London. He is an associate at the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London, and the author of eleven books on modern China, the latest of which is CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping.

Simone van Nieuwenhuizen is based at the University of Sydney. This is her first book.

‘No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance’
with Natasha King
Wednesday 9th November, 7.00pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

From the streets of Calais to the borders of Melilla, Evros and the United States, the slogan 'No borders!' is a thread connecting a multitude of different struggles for the freedom to move and to stay. But what does it mean to make this slogan a reality?

Drawing on the author's extensive research in Greece and Calais, as well as a decade campaigning for migrant rights, Natasha King explores the different forms of activism that have emerged in the struggle against border controls, and the dilemmas these activists face in translating their principles into practice.

Wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, No Borders constitutes vital reading for anyone interested in how we make radical alternatives to the state a genuine possibility for our times, and raises crucial questions on the nature of resistance.

Reviews for

‘An inspiring call to join communities around the world and work for the full realization of human rights.’ 
Chris Crass, author of Towards Collective Liberation

‘The first extended analysis of Europe’s No Borders movement, from an activist with first-hand experience of the struggle for free movement.’ 
Matt Carr, author of Fortress Europe

‘An activists' guide to what it means to refuse borders in practice.’
Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move

‘A timely and powerful read for those who support the politics of freedom of movement.’ 
Kim Rygiel, author of Globalizing Citizenship

‘Thoughtful, provocative and engaged. A must-read for critical scholars and activists alike.’
Vicki Squire, University of Warwick

About the Author

Natasha has been involved in a lot of different expressions of the struggle for the freedom of movement, in the UK, Calais and elsewhere. Natasha would like to call herself an author but isn’t sure if you can do that after finishing your first book. She hopes this will be the first of many. Natasha has a PhD in politics from the University of Nottingham, Centre for Social and Global Justice. She is from the south of England and is based in Nottingham. Right now she is travelling around Europe exploring different kinds of autonomous communities.

‘Stolen Children'

with David Wickham
Tuesday 15th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A compelling and wonderfully authentic novel, full of vivid detail and powerful emotion - William Boyd

Terror stalks the streets of Argentina, during the Dirty War. The fascist military Junta brooks no opposition. Death Squads take away anyone who disagrees with the dictatorship. 30,000 people simply disappear.

Like many in the Buenos Aires aristocracy, successful lawyer Guillermo Haynes thinks the Junta is fighting a just war. When he falls in love with Caridad, a young student, who subsequently disappears, Guillermo realises too late just how dirty the conflict has become. But as he replays his failure to do the right thing, Guillermo discovers he has a child, taken from Caridad before she was killed. In a race to find the child, before all the evidence is destroyed, Guillermo faces his own demons, as the true horror and scale of the Junta’s war becomes apparent.

Based on true events which are only now being revealed, Stolen Children is both a terrifying story full of suspense, and an extraordinary tale of pathos and determination. An emotive tribute to those who lost their lives, or their children and grandchildren during Argentina’s military dictatorship.

About the Author

David Wickham has worked all over the world as a writer and television director and producer on news and documentaries, factual entertainment and drama programmes. He has won numerous international awards in London, New York, Banff and Monte Carlo and also earned a Royal Television Society award for his work. He first came across the story of Argentina’s stolen children while working on a documentary about the sinking of the General Belgrano, after the Falklands War. He has since made two documentaries about the children (one for the BBC and one for ITV) and has now turned the story into a novel. David is married and currently lives in south east of England.

‘The Refusal of Work: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work’

with David Frayne
Wednesday 16th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Paid work is absolutely central to the culture and politics of capitalist societies, yet today’s work-centred world is becoming increasingly hostile to the human need for autonomy, spontaneity and community. The grim reality of a society in which some are overworked, whilst others are condemned to intermittent work and unemployment, is progressively more difficult to tolerate.

In this thought-provoking book, David Frayne questions the central place of work in mainstream political visions of the future, laying bare the ways in which economic demands colonise our lives and priorities. Drawing on his original research into the lives of people who are actively resisting nine-to-five employment, Frayne asks what motivates these people to disconnect from work, whether or not their resistance is futile, and whether they might have the capacity to inspire an alternative form of development, based on a reduction and social redistribution of work.

Reviews for

'A well-written romp through theory and critiques of work… Amid the hard-work rhetoric, this book feels liberating and a worthy provocation.'
Financial Times
'Rigorous arguments for the desirability of an end – or a radical reduction – to the amount of work we do, and searching analyses of how this might be achieved.’
LSE Review of Books

'Leads the reader to question if the growing disillusionment with work could blossom into a political alternative and create change on a societal level.’

‘This is the most engaging and comprehensive book I’ve ever read about how work dominates our lives. It is insightful and inspiring and should be read by everyone who goes to work every day, if they can find the time.’ 
Sharon Beder, author of Selling the Work Ethic

‘A humane reassessment of the ethics of work which will appeal to anyone who has wondered whether the job they are fighting so hard to get, or to hold on to, really is worth the struggle.’ 
Ralph Fevre, author of The Demoralization of Western Culture and Trouble at Work

About the Author

David Frayne is a sociology teacher and social researcher, based at Cardiff University.  You can follow him @theworkdogma.

‘Angry White People:
Coming Face-to-Face with the British Far Right’
with Hsiao-Hung Pai
Wednesday 30th November, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

There is a new anger brewing in Britain. In the pubs and estates, the cafes and football stadiums, the mood is unsettled. People kick back increasingly against whoever or whatever is presented as the latest scapegoat.

Delving deep into the day-to-day of the most marginalized section of the white working class, Angry White People offers an unparalleled survey of this anxious, uncertain, febrile Britain. From far-right street fighters to UKIP activists, Hsiao-Hung Pai conducts a fantastically daring investigation. Amongst those she follows are Darren, a Lutonian who helped found the English Defence League (EDL) but is now a dedicated anti-racist Labour activist, and Tommy Robinson, infamous founder of the EDL, whom Pai observes changing from a young, foul-mouthed kid to a suited-and-booted Oxford Union guest speaker.

Uncovering disturbing levels of racism in our society which must be confronted, Pai also identifies legitimate concerns arising from exclusion and inequality in a post-industrial economy. Angry White People is the essential account of social discontent in Britain today.


‘Pai should be congratulated for tackling the subject and doing it with courage and passion….[a] timely contribution.’
Times Literary Supplement

'An enlightening, thoughtful and intelligent study in what makes the far right tick.' 
The Independent

'The virtue of Pai’s work is that, because she has many conversations and reproduces them at length, complexity is conveyed.'
Financial Times

'Hsiao-Hung skilfully draws out the sense of abandonment by mainstream politicians.'
New Statesman

'A lucid account of a deluded movement.'
New Internationalist

‘With her calm and unflinching investigative journalism, Hsiao-Hung Pai sheds light on the dynamics of class and racism in Britain today. Essential reading for anybody interested in the contemporary far right, and what feeds it.’ 
Daniel Trilling, author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right

‘One of Britain’s best investigative journalists, Pai addresses a defining issue of our time: the nature of extremism. The result is one of the finest accounts of the British far Right.’ 
Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror

About the Author

Hsiao-Hung Pai is a writer best known for her books Chinese Whispers: The True Story behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Orwell Prize, and Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants, which won the Bread and Roses Award in 2013. Pai’s third book, Invisible: Britain’s Migrant Sex Workers, was published in 2013. As part of her research for the book, Pai worked undercover as a maid in brothels all over the country. Pai’s first work of fiction, Hidden Army of Labour, was published in the Chinese language in Taiwan and China.

Pai has lived in the UK since 1991. She is a contributor to The Guardian and many UK-Chinese publications.


Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross,
London, N1 9DX
tel: 020 7837 4473